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FYI: [Fwd: Adobe prepares accessible PDF reader]

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 2000 16:48:41 -0400
Message-ID: <39A97EA9.4D2C8ECA@w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
I'm forwarding the following URI [1] sent by Robert Neff to the
WCAG mailing list. This is an article in Federal Computer Week
about Adobe's announcement. I've quoted it below.

 - Ian

[1] http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2000/0821/web-adobe-08-25-00.asp

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783

Adobe prepares accessible PDF reader 

BY William Matthews 

As they prepare to comply with new requirements to make
Web sites readable by visually impaired users, federal
Webmasters point to a major concern - PDF files.

But Adobe Systems Inc., the company that invented
Portable Document Format, says a new version of its
Acrobat Reader will be available by spring. The new
version will make it possible for screen readers to
read many of the PDF files that are now unreadable,
said Rick Brown, accessibility chief at Adobe.

"The government uses PDF for scanning in old documents"
from the pre-electronic era so they can be viewed on
computer screens, Brown said. These are essentially
pictures of old pages and usually cannot be deciphered
by screen readers.

Other PDF files contain text as well as images. Screen
readers often can read the text, but not necessarily in
the same way it was arranged for viewers who have good

Adobe is designing its new reader to follow the logical
structure of each story. "Logical structure can
indicate precise reading order and improve navigation,
particularly for longer, complex documents," Adobe says
in a description of its future reader. The reader "will
be able to follow a single article from beginning to
end, much as a sighted person would flip through the
newspaper pages to continue reading an article," Adobe

The new reader will work best with new PDF files,
especially those that have been designed with
accessibility in mind, Brown said. But the reader will
"attempt to make" old PDF files accessible to screen
readers as well.

Adobe also is developing "some automated authoring
tools that will make it very easy to create a PDF file
that?s accessible," Brown said.
Received on Sunday, 27 August 2000 16:48:42 UTC

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